When the Swain’s Cut Bridge [aka the second bridge] opened, it significantly shortened our driving time to the beaches of Oak Island. Now most of the residents are at the beach within a 5-15 minute drive. There is no stop-and-go traffic and plenty of free parking.
There are 11 miles of sandy, 100% walkable beaches, and over 70 access points, all with free parking. The most popular beach destination for many residents is located on NE 72nd Street. Here you will find the oceanfront St James Beach Club; it has parking lots exclusively for St. James Plantation residents, an outdoor pool, bathrooms and shower facilities, and an elevated spacious covered deck with tables and chairs.
Typically, the waves are calm, the water is warm and ankle-deep water extends a fair distance making it perfect for young + old. Oak Island is one of the few dog-friendly beaches on the East Coast.
Helpful Hint: Despite the deceptive cooling breeze, the sun is very strong, and we see severe sunburns come on quickly. Recommend an umbrella, frequent applications of sunscreen, and keep hydrated.